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BP scales back climate commitments as profits soar to £23bn

Oil and gas firm BP has announced record annual profits of £23bn for 2022 in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The news comes shortly after energy giant Shell recorded the highest annual profits in its 115-year history, with £32.2bn coming into the company in 2022.

While BP has previously stated its commitment to transition to renewables, plans to reduce its climate targets were also announced today.

The firm initially agreed to reduce its carbon emissions by 35-40% by 2030 but is now aiming for a 20-30% reduction.

In light of record profits, energy firms are facing increased calls for a higher windfall tax to help reduce bills for UK citizens who are facing the worst energy crisis since 1970’s.

Human rights NGO Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said: ‘The fossil fuel industry should be in decline. Instead, it is making vast historical profits, profiteering from the rise in energy prices resulting from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

‘That Big Oil’s profit margins have swelled so vastly is patently unjustifiable. These profits are an unmitigated disaster, both for the climate and for the millions of people deeply affected by exorbitant energy costs.

‘The fossil fuel industry needs to be urgently phased out through a human rights compliant and just energy transition. In the interim, the billions of dollars of profits being made by these oil corporations must be adequately taxed so that governments can address effectively the rising cost of living for most vulnerable populations and better protect human rights in the face of multiple global crises.’

Last year, the government announced a windfall tax on excessive profits made from extracting UK oil and gas, which was raised from 25% to 35% by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Labour MP Ed Miliband said further steps were needed to bring down energy bills for the public. On Twitter he wrote: ‘It’s yet another day of enormous profits at an energy giant, the windfalls of war, coming out of the pockets of the British people.

‘What is outrageous is that as energy giants rake in these sums, Rishi Sunak still refuses to bring in a proper windfall tax.’

Photo by Jay Skyler 

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